Last year we discussed news of a court ruling that established a set of guidelines for how investigators can enact search warrants involving electronically stored data. Essentially, it required authorities to specify the data for which they were searching, and to take precautions to avoid the collection of unrelated data, whether it was incriminating or not. Now, a federal appeals court has thrown out those guidelines despite agreeing with the conclusion that investigators must only collect data specified in a warrant. Instead, the ruling (PDF) leaves us with a plea for "greater vigilance on the part of judicial officers in striking the right balance between the government’s interest in law enforcement and the right of individuals to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures."
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